Estimation of Surface and Subsurface Soil Moisture Using Microwave Remote Sensing: A Typical Analysis

Duda B. Balas *

Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering Department, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, AAU, Godhra, Gujarat, India.

Mukesh Kumar Tiwari

Department of Soil and Water Conservation Engineering Department, College of Agricultural Engineering and Technology, AAU, Godhra, Gujarat, India.

Gautam R. Patel

Department of Agricultural Engineering, College of Agriculture, Anand Agricultural University, Vaso, Gujarat, India.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Accurate measurement and monitoring of surface and subsurface soil moisture is essential for understanding hydrological processes, crop growth modeling, crop water requirement, and climate studies. Accurate measurement of the soil moisture content (SMC) in the root zone is essential for precise irrigation authority and plant water stress evaluation. However, the existing passive microwave satellite missions, Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) and Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP), that operate at L-band, can only estimate the top 5 cm of soil moisture. Microwave remote sensing has proven to be a valuable tool for non-invasive soil moisture estimation. This research aims to investigate and develop a methodology for estimating surface and subsurface soil moisture using microwave data from Sentinel-1. The study was conducted to establish the relationship between surface & the backscatter coefficient derived using the Sentinel-1 SAR microwave remote sensing satellite imagery, and relationship between surface and subsurface soil moisture at different depths, in the Godhra region. Two seasons namely summer (Zaid) and monsoon (Kharif) were taken into consideration to build up the relationship between surface soil moisture and co-polarization backscatter coefficient ( For the summer (Zaid) and monsoon (Kharif) seasons, the co-polarization backscatter coefficient ( and surface soil moisture (0-5, cm) were found to have a correlation in terms of R2 as 0.91 and 0.90, respectively. The study explores the relationship between microwave signals and surface soil moisture content (0-5, cm) and then the relationship between surface soil moisture and soil moisture at various depths were also modeled thereby contributing to improved soil moisture estimation techniques and applications. The value of the coefficient of determination (R2) of surface soil moisture (0-5, cm) to subsurface soil moisture at 6-20 cm, 21-40 cm, and 41-60 cm depths were found to be 0.60, 0.51, and 0.46, respectively, in the summer (Zaid) season. The value of the coefficient of determination (R2) of surface soil moisture (0-5, cm) to subsurface soil moisture at 6-20 cm, 21-40 cm, 41-60 cm, 61-80 cm, and 81-100 cm depths were found to be 0.83, 0.61, 0.51, 0.26, and 0.13, respectively. According to the study, it is observed that the relationship between co-polarization backscatter coefficient ( and soil moisture weakens as the depth of soil moisture increases. Overall, the regression models developed between the co-polarization backscatter coefficient ( and surface soil moisture showed very good results, whereas the regression models developed between the surface soil moisture and soil moisture at various depths showed reasonably acceptable results up to the depth of 60 cm. The findings in the present study suggest that Sentinel-1A C-band SAR data can be used to estimate surface soil moisture. It is also shown in this study that the surface soil moisture can be correlated with the subsurface soil moisture up to the depth of 60 cm, satisfactorily using regression equations.

Keywords: Surface and subsurface soil moisture, sentinel-1, synthetic aperture radar (SAR), microwave, monsoon and summer seasons, Godhra


How to Cite

Balas, Duda B., Mukesh Kumar Tiwari, and Gautam R. Patel. 2023. “Estimation of Surface and Subsurface Soil Moisture Using Microwave Remote Sensing: A Typical Analysis”. International Journal of Environment and Climate Change 13 (10):1804-16. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijecc/2023/v13i102836.

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